Things That Matter

After Their Mom’s Restaurant Shut Down, Mexican-American Twin Brothers Launched A Loan Co. To Help Latino Small Businesses Thrive

Twin brothers Sean and Kenny Salas were born in the U.S. but were forced to move to their mother’s hometown in Mexico at the age of 12 after she had to shut down her chain of Los Angeles restaurants. 

Inspired by their own financial struggles, when the Salas brothers were studying at Harvard for their MBA, they started drafting a plan to help Latinos run successful small businesses. 

In 2014 Camino Financial launched — but don’t call it just another lender. 

@caminofinancial / Instagram

“Where other lenders see numbers, we see real people and real business owners. Our efforts go beyond lending money,” said content marketing manager, Tania Chaidez Ibarra, over email. 

“We make sure to match our members with the best financing solution according to their goals, needs, and situation, and we provide them with resources and constant guidance,” she added. 

Learning first hand how the lack of information can derail a business, the Salas brothers set out to help Latinos thrive in their small businesses. 

@caminofinancial / Instagram

“There’s a lack of resources for Latinos to help them manage and grow their business. We want to change that scope and make a difference. We believe in giving back to our community. We believe Latinos are the backbone of America’s economy. Now it’s time to prove it!” said Ibarra. 

Since the launch of Camino Financial, the lending company has helped countless small businesses stay on track to meeting their goals. Some businesses not only met their goal but have also been able to give back to their communities, like Celso Hernandez who is one of Camino Financial’s newest clients. 

“He has a restaurant in a high-crime area. The improvements he made in his establishment not only attracted more clients and increased his sales, but also allowed him to create job opportunities and help his community in diverse ways,” Ibarra said.

For anyone who is considering applying for a small business loan from Camino Financial, candidates must have a business that has been in operation for nine months, compared to the two-year requirement by other lenders, and have annual gross sales of $30,000 versus $100,000 from other lenders. Camino Financial does not require a Social Security Number. 

For more information on how you can take your business to the next level, check out Camino Financial at caminofinancial.com.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Heartbreaking Story About A Latino Dad And His Family Being Booted From Their Home Amid The Covid-19 Eviction Crisis Will Make You Tear Up For An Unexpected Reason

Things That Matter

This Heartbreaking Story About A Latino Dad And His Family Being Booted From Their Home Amid The Covid-19 Eviction Crisis Will Make You Tear Up For An Unexpected Reason

CNN/ Youtube

The United States is currently facing yet another pandemic related crisis that new research says could put 30-40 million Americans out of their homes by the end of the year.

The Covid-19 eviction crisis has already seen millions of people booted from their homes no thanks to a lack of federal intervention. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, twenty-nine to forty-three percent of renters could be at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

Israel Rodriguez is just one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have not been able to pay their rent because of the current pandemic and thus evicted from their homes.

Last week, his eviction story went viral and tugged at the heartstrings of thousands who watched.

Rodriguez’s eviction story saw him and his young family kicked out of their home and on the streets.

CNN featured Rodriguez in a video interview last week that saw him, his wife, and two boys (one is 4-years-old and the other just 20-months old) evicted from their home in the Houston, Texas area.

“It’s my fault on the eviction. It was a lot going on there in the corona. When it hit, I lost my job,” Rodriguez told CNN while he was being evicted from his home. “It took me like a month to get another job. This is my check. I haven’t been, I ain’t making it with $300. It is literally $300.”

“We ain’t got nowhere to go,” Rodriguez added. “They didn’t rush us, but they was like, ‘Get everything you need.'”

Soon after his eviction, officers in the precinct area set up a GoFundMe account in his name. Already it has raised $67,853 out of its $12,000 goal.

“I’m not the only one struggling,” Rodriguez stated in a news conference set up by Harris County Precinct 1’s Constable Alan Rosen. “But it’s the best thing to ever happen to me, to make a better change in life.”

Since originally being featured in a story by CNN, Rodriguez says that his family has received financial support from all over the world. He says that the help comes in a large part thanks to the constable whose office was given a court order to serve the eviction papers.

“I’m learning to be a better person,” Rodriguez told CNN about how the situation has humbled and changed him.

According to CNN, Rodriguez and his family are currently living in a hotel and are “working to obtain more permanent housing, with support from Rosen’s agency and other groups. Rodriguez also said he’s gotten job offers, vowing to get to work once he finds his new home.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control announced eviction bans.

The move was not effective in time to help Rodriguez and others like him from being kicked out of their homes. Current eviction bans allow residents to avoid being removed from their homes for not paying rent if they are able to prove that their inability to do so is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rental assistance, I want Houstonians and people in Harris County to know, is still available. There is no longer a deadline to apply. We have decided we will leave the enrollment open. It will remain open until all funds have been expended,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said Houston’s COVID-19 rental assistance program last week.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Latinas On Instagram Are Getting Real About How The Cost Of Mental Health Impacts Them

Fierce

Latinas On Instagram Are Getting Real About How The Cost Of Mental Health Impacts Them

Scott Olson / Getty

Sadly, while therapy should be accessible to everyone not everyone has access to it. In fact, oftentimes regular therapy can come at quite the price. And while recent medical studies have shown that current societal pressures have caused Latinas in particular to experience high levels of stress, it doesn’t look like that is changing. With insurance companies often refusing to consider mental health benefits as part of their plans many of us are left to deal with our mental burdens all on our own.

To help, we recently asked Latinas for advice on how to get therapy and the responses were pretty helpful.

Here are the top takeaways.

Some institutions charge less for students.

“Always google training centers and universities for affordable therapy. Often students need to complete x amount of hours with patients and they charge a fraction of the cost. In San Francisco “The Liberation Institute” is a great resource.” –citybythebea

English/Spanish bilingual options are pretty available.

“Hi! I am an NY licensed (Queens based) English/Spanish bilingual clinical psychologist. I offer sliding scale therapy on Zoom based on whatever the patient is able to pay. My mission in this field is to make therapy possible for as much of our gente as possible and remove the notion that therapy is only for affluent White people. I am happy to chat with anyone that’s interested in learning more about therapy, mental health, or even working together.” –afuentes5

Many therapists don’t take insurance.

“It’s frustrating that most therapists don’t take insurance.” – jackelyn.v

It might take some time to find the right therapist but hang in there!

“What’s horrible is that even when you can afford it, it can often be quite difficult finding the proper therapist. It took me years to realize mine was not helping me and that I had to search for a better one.”- __soul

Sometimes video chats can be cheaper!

“Theres an app that charges $35 a wk for video chat with a therapist. If im not mistaken, its as many video chats as u want.” –xtabayfour

Some therapists provide a sliding scale.

“Also, therapists charge $80-$200 for several reasons. Cost of living, licensing, business expenses, their own insurance. Many times, clients may miss sessions for different reasons, therefore this can impact the flow of money. People spend that amount to get their hair done, nails, buy shoes, with no question. All this to say, you can get the help for your price point. Don’t give up trying! Call 211 for assistance too.” – missblovely

You might be able to get therapy through your insurance after a certain amount of time.

“If you have health insurance (another privilege, I know), you can get therapy through your insurance. I didn’t know this until 2 years ago when I read needed therapy but didn’t have the resources. You’ll do an intake to determine what you need (Eg. Counseling for anxiety and depression) and then have access to a whole network of providers for a fraction of the cost. Sometimes only $25/session! Mental health is healthcare!” – _devinjones

Don’t give up on therapy!

“It really depends on the type of insurance you carry. More and more employers are adding behavioral benefits. So do some research and ask HR about your benefits, since many of times they aren’t properly explained. Also, look into community health centers. Some therapist now offer sliding scales too, so don’t give up. Olisha Hodges, serves Alameda County. She is awesome! Also, google, Psychology Today, you can do a search and look through a list of specialist in your area.” – julisssac

BUT know that giving up certain luxuries for the sake of your mental health might be worth it.

“You are correct it should not be luxury items! As a therapist, I offer sliding scale rates. However even with a full case load of clients, as a therapist I cannot afford to live to pay double rent (my apt and office rent) my licensing, insurance, food, bills, plus the 10+ hours I spend a week doing my clients notes (they are not paid hours.) as someone mentioned in the comments $40 was still too expensive for sessions. I respect that, I was a Medicaid client when I used to get therapy as a student. Insurance companies do not respect our work and pay us very little that can barely afford my private practice. So the system is horrible and needs to change. I also know people who resent paying certain prices to therapists but then spend much more on yoga sessions, nails, hair, drinks, etc. so a lot of people don’t see therapy as a priority. I am happy that many people posted all these fabulous affordable recourses.” – lemonbalm333

In-network therapists will charge your copay.

“In-network therapists charge your copay which varies from $20-50 on average. There are also normally sliding fee scales which are based on your income so the amount you pay could be (depending on the therapist) zero. Also, with some employers, there are EAP (employee assistance programs) which offer short term therapy for free 5-10 sessions depending on the contractual agreement between the employer and EAP. You can choose to keep seeing that same therapist as well for a cost. Services such as @openpathpsychotherapy have therapists that charge a lower fee than what they normally would. All this to say, the options are out there. It may be a little scary on what to do or choose, but help is out there with low fees.” –missblovely

When it comes to financial compensation your therapist might be flexible.

“I remember after my last baby I needed therapy desperately and the receptionist said it would be $140 each visit and I sobbed and was ready to walk out because we couldn’t afford that, we’d just bought a new house, new car & added a 3rd child to our family. I tried to see if I could just go once a month but my therapist said she’d like to see me every week. The receptionist came back and said it’s only $40 which was still more than I’d like to spend but it was much more manageable than $140.”- jesslynne618

There’s help for every budget.

“Many can start with EAP offered by their employer; some offer more than the standard 3 sessions. EAP can also assist with referring you to a more long-term provider based on your needs & $$. They can also research therapists on psychology today as some mention their prices & offer a sliding fee scale. @openpathpsychotherapy is another program that requires client membership to access therapists that charge $30-60/session. There are various options. Speaking as a therapist, one may charge based on their yrs or level of experience, specific trainings, etc. Just as physicians, we are licensed to diagnose & treat. As with such, there are measures that must be taken to ensure the best level of treatment (to each his own price range). Clients aren’t limited to paying large amounts, especially in this era of online therapy. There’s help for every budget. Dialing 2-1-1 is also helpful to explore what’s offered in your area.” – _sunshineof_kc

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com